One of the characteristic features of Shostakovich’s music is its melodic-harmonic language: a language that is remarkably free and mobile but also steadfastly tonal. This balance between freedom and control – between harmonies that start to run away, but ultimately get pulled back in – immediately resonates with the type of energeticist principles explored in the previous chapter. Yet attempts to pin down this language – to identify a characteristic ‘Shostakovich mode’ (or, at least, a ‘Shostakovich process’) – have been unsuccessful. This is because Shostakovich very rarely adheres to one set of ‘rules’: his symphonies are at times diatonic (Nos 7(i) f6; 8(v) f124), chromatic-diatonic (Nos 1(iii) opening; 14(ix) f117), modal (Nos 5(i) f1; 13(ii) f51), chromatic (Nos 8(ii) f53; 9(ii) f35) and even dodecaphonic (Nos 14(i) opening; 15(iii) f81). But in all cases, ‘wrong notes’ quickly creep in, deforming the original system.